I will be the very first to say that, these days, it's uncommon to find a woman who has been wearing maternity clothes (periodically!) for the last 14 1/2 years. But, I fit (no pun intended) that description exactly.
I will also freely admit that, within the last 14 1/2 years, maternity clothes have improved in fit and variety. I will also freely admit that they could not have gotten much worse --- denim overalls on a bulbous figure? What idiot thought that was a good idea?
Which brings me to the point of this post: who is in charge of designing and producing maternity clothes? It certainly is NOT anyone who has ever been pregnant with her 7th large baby during a hot summer, and who also possesses a short stature and is very short-waisted.
More than likely, I suspect that the designers' panel consists of an 18-year-old-girl, a crusty old bachelor, and a circus clown. It's the only possible explanation for why a maternity store would try to sell a very tight, short t-shirt in neon horizontal stripes paired with a pair of very low-riding capri leggings. Of course any woman in her 3rd trimester would love to parade around town in an outfit that not only highlights all of her most prominent features, but constricts her already compromised airways, while simultaneously causing her maternity "bloomers" to fall to her ankles.
And, the word "parade" accurately describes how, at almost 32 weeks along, I am feeling about my appearance: like a splendid and very large float in a single-float parade. On my really good days, when I catch a glimpse of myself walking down the street, the image of a penguin kicking a beach-ball comes to mind. So, yes, I would love to draw even more attention to myself by wearing uncomfortable, tight, short, and colorful clothing. Who wouldn't?
For any of you who have been pregnant recently, I have two words for you: MATERNITY JEANS. What was that? I think I just heard a collective growl, tinged with a bit of regret at paying a ridiculous sum of money for a piece of clothing that is designed to drive a woman out of her mind. Is it not bad enough that our usual gracefulness that has been impeded by a major change in our center of gravity is ALSO compromised by a denim torture chamber? Hike up that stretchy waistband 500 times a day! Roll up the cuffs you keep tripping over! Rip off those nightmarish pants and throw them into your closet with a primal scream! And, that's just Day 1! (Most maternity jeans never make it to Day 2.)
Now, I am sure that the fore-mentioned "designers' panel", along with some very foolhardy husbands of pregnant women, will say that it's just my hormones combined with the advanced stage of my pregnancy that are causing me to have such strong opinions about maternity-wear. To be fair, I am sure those things do not help my mood. But, for any person who does not believe that maternity clothes are designed for pregnant 12-year-olds should don one of those horrid "pregnancy suits" (with the big bellies and bottoms), choose two items of clothing from any maternity collection, and wear the whole get-up in public for 3 weeks.
Only then will I deign to even speak to you... as soon as I can waddle over.